Unrecorded wall map of the world with one of the first depictions of Brouwer’s discoveries
By TASSIN, Christopher [and] BEREY, Nicolas, 1644
Carte Universelle de Tout Le Monde. Novissima ac Exactissima Totius Orbis Terrarum Decriptio, omnibus quae ante hac extiterunt amplior et correctior, Aucta et recognita a Chr. Tassino Geographo Regio.
- Author: TASSIN, Christopher [and] BEREY, Nicolas
- Publication place: A Paris
- Publisher: Chez Nicolas Berey, Anlummineur de la Reyne au bout du Pont Neuf proche les Augustins au Deux Globes
- Publication date: 1644.
- Physical description: Engraved wall map on four sheets, joined, six small maps of Spain and her regions below map, a few tears skilfully repaired.
- Dimensions: 625 by 1075mm (24.5 by 42.25 inches).
- Inventory reference: 1651
Prior to the discovery of this example, this map was known in two later states, a 1650 example by Nicolas Berey and a 1668 example by Hubert Jaillot.
The basic cartographic features of the map can be traced to Blaeu’s world map of 1605, which was later reissued by Jodocus Hondius Jr. in 1624. Korea is depicted as an island and California is firmly attached to North America. To the eastern hemisphere, ‘Beach’ is prominently named to the northern most promontory of ‘Terra Australis Incognita’. Also inscribed along the promontory are ‘Maletur Reg.’, and ‘Lunach’, a legacy of the chronicles of the thirteenth century traveler Marco Polo.
Jacob Le Maire and Willem Schouten’s voyage of 1616–18 is mentioned, with the Straits of Le Maire between Tierra del Feugo and Staten Island named, as are the Tonga Islands in the Pacific discovered by Le Maire; his name also appears on part of New Guinea.
The exact date that Tassin engraved the map is not known. However, the six miniature maps of Spain and her regions, below that map, do give us a terminus post quem of 1634, as this was the year that Tassin first issued his maps of Spain. In 1643 Tassin sold his plates and paper stock to Nicolas Berey.
The French title and imprint, together with the text to the western hemisphere’s ‘Terra Australis’ would appear to be the only new information added to the map by Nicolas Berey. The rather crudely engraved text relates to Hendrick Brouwer’s expedition of 1643 — for the Dutch East and West India Companies — to Chile, in order to establish a base for trading gold at the abandoned ruins of Valdivia. During the voyage Brouwer circumnavigated Staten Island (marked ‘Stanten Lant’ upon the map) — which formed part of the Straits of Le Maire — thus proving that it was not part of the great southern land, as previously thought. The crudely wrought text, together with the fact that Berey has not updated the cartography, would suggest that the publication of the map was rushed through; with Brouwer’s discovery used as a tag or hook upon which to sell the map that he had so recently acquired.
The map bears a dedication to, and coats-of-arms of, Henri-Auguste de Loménie, comte de Brienne, who was Secretary of State for the French navy from 1615–1643, and from 1643–1663 was Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs.
The map’s outer decoration consists of depictions of the four elements — fire, air, water, and earth — to the four corners; and the garden of Eden and the last judgement, to the upper and lower centre respectively.
The map was later reissued by Berey, in 1650, without Tassin’s Latin title but with ‘Staten lant’ correctly depicted. It was published again by Hubert Jaillot in 1668.